Archive for May, 2010

OH MY GOSH! ! !! ! ! ! !

May 26, 2010

I opened the paper and who do I see?

None other than The King of Pee.

Peas and Pizza-­Just about the best

And the SI* swimsuit edition would put the patient UP for the test!

As he entertains himself

With SI (and his new plot in life)

He will have to give thought

Of how to appease his wife.

Oh Doctor Whiz you’ve done it again:

Microwaves and vasectomies show you’re the KING PIN!!! !!

*Sports Illustrated

Reprinted with permission by Eugenia Lind

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Nutrition for Your Prostate Gland

May 26, 2010

Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in American men causing nearly 250,000 new cases each year. It is the second most common cause of death in American men, killing nearly 40,000 men annually. However, with regular examination consisting of a digital rectal exam and a PSA blood test, prostate cancer can be detected early and treated. There are other healthy life-style changes that can be easily done that may even help prevent prostate cancer.

  1. Start taking vitamin D, E and selenium supplements. Although further research is needed to confirm their effectiveness, studies have demonstrated that all three, vitamin D, E and selenium, show promise with regard to prostate cancer prevention when taken regularly.
  2. Eat more soybeans (or soybean products) and other legumes. Elevated levels of testosterone may increase your risk for developing prostate cancer. The phytoestrogens-nonsteroidal plant compounds that act like estrogen in the body and thus can help to regulate imbalanced hormone levels-contained in these foods may help to prevent prostate cancer; genistein, an isoflavone also found in soy foods, helps to normalize hormone levels and thus may reduce prostate cancer.
  3. Drink green tea. Antioxidant compounds in green tea may help prevent prostate cancer; some have even been found to kill prostate cancer cells in test tubes, while others have blocked enzymes that promote prostate cancer.
  4. Get plenty of fiber. Fiber can eliminate excess testosterone in the body; thus, a high-fiber diet can aid in the regulation of your body’s hormone levels and may help reduce the risk for prostate cancer.
  5. Reduce your intake of meat and saturated fats. Follow a low-fat diet: diets high in saturated fat ­animal fat in particular-and red met have been found to increase the risk for prostate cancer. Eating a low-tat diet also helps to prevent obesity, a condition that may also increase prostate cancer risk.
  6. Eat more broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, brussel sprouts and greens. A recent study found that men who ate cruciferous vegetables more than once a week were 40% less likely to be diagnosed with prostate cancer than men who rarely ate them.
  7. Eat cooked tomatoes. Lycopene, the carotenoid pigment that makes tomatoes bright red, possesses powerful antioxidant properties and has been linked in some studies to a decreased risk for prostate cancer.
  8. Limit your dairy consumption. Diets high in dairy products and calcium may be associated with small increases in prostate cancer risk. Moderate your dairy consumption, and don’t overdo calcium­ supplements or foods fortified with extra calcium.
  9. Get regular aerobic exercise. Regular aerobic exercise has been associated with reduced risk levels for prostate cancer: exercise also helps prevent obesity and other health-related complications that obesity causes.
  10. See your physician for prostate cancer screenings regularly. While regular screenings can’t reduce your risk for prostate cancer, changes in diet and exercise can. They help ensure early diagnosis so that prostate cancer can be treated as effectively as possible. My best advice is to get screened annually if you are over the age of 50, if you have a family member who has prostate cancer, or if you are an African-American man.

Bottom Line: Prostate cancer may have a relationship with diet.  I cannot tell you for certain if you follow these instructions you will not develop prostate cancer.  But as my wonderful Jewish mother would say, “It may not help, but it voidn’t hoit!”

Vasectomy and Potency-Facts or Fiction

May 25, 2010

Does a vasectomy effect a male sex life? The straightforward answer to this question is a “No.” A vasectomy does not reduce a man’s sexual drive or his ability to have or enjoy sex. The procedure eliminates only the man’s ability to father a child…   he can still experience an erection and ejaculation as before.

This is an excellent topic for a candid discussion between husband and wife, and perhaps with the doctor of their choice. Some couples are concerned about a reduced libido or sex drive, but they may be shy about asking the question.

What they may come to discover is, once sterility is complete, they no longer need to worry about accidental pregnancy – and that lovemaking can be more spontaneous, more sensuous and more enjoyable than before.

A vasectomy does not effect the blood vessels or nerves that are part of having an erection or ejaculation. Nothing physiologically changes in that respect.

Two important cautions!

It’s important to note that a man will not be sterile immediately following a vasectomy. Talk to your doctor, who will test your semen for sperm before you can have unprotected sex. It may take up to 20 ejaculations or more and several weeks before your reproductive system is free of active sperm.

Another caution is that a vasectomy is not a protection against sexually transmitted disease (STD). If you are at risk of transmitting or acquiring an STD, you and your partner will still need the protection of a condom or other means of protection.

So what’s the difference?

Typically, the only significant difference after a vasectomy is that the sperm normally produced is missing from the semen. The glands that produce semen are not changed by a vasectomy. Sperm is such a tiny portion of the total ejaculation fluid (about 2 percent) that the change can’t be noticed. Even the color and consistency of the ejaculate are not changed.

There’s no effect on “masculinity,” either. The man’s body continues to produce hormones as before, and there is no change in any of the male characteristics such as beard or voice. Testosterone continues to be produced and released into the bloodstream. Testicles continue to manufacture sperm, but they don’t leave the body. Unused sperm are simply absorbed by the body as normally occurs with or without a vasectomy.

In Summary:

  • Talk candidly with your spouse and your doctor.
  • A vasectomy will not decrease your sex drive.
  • The procedure only eliminates your ability to father a child.
  • Sterility is not immediate; your doctor will need to test you and advise.
  • Vasectomy is no protection against sexually transmitted disease (STD).
  • You can still have an erection and ejaculate.
  • The body continues to produce hormones.

Male characteristics (voice, beard) are not affected.

Bottom Line: Vasectomy divides the vas but has no impact on a man’s potency it only creates infertility

Growth Hormone and Reversing the Aging Process

May 24, 2010

Nearly everyone is chasing youth and vigor and would like to find a pill or shot that can turn back the aging clock.  Perhaps growth hormone (GH) may be a possibility to reverse the aging process..

What is growth hormone?  Your body makes GH to help fuel growth in your childhood and to help maintain your tissues and organs throughout your life. As you age, your body slowly reduces the amount of growth hormone it produces. The level of growth hormone in your body begins to drop in your 40s.

GH is available only by prescription and is usually given by via injections. It’s currently approved to treat adults with true growth hormone deficiency — not the expected decline in GH due to aging.

Growth hormone is currently approved for:

  • Children with short stature
  • Children with kidney disease
  • Muscle wasting associated with AIDS and HIV

Studies of adults with GH deficiencies show that injections of GH can:

  • Increase bone density
  • Increase muscle mass
  • Decrease body fat
  • Bolster the heart’s ability to contract
  • Improve mood and motivation
  • Increase exercise capacity

Because of those results, some people believe that synthetic growth hormone can help healthy older adults who have naturally low levels of GH regain some of their youth and vitality.  But the cost of this kind of treatment does not come cheap.  An annual cost of $20,000 is not unusual and the cost is rarely covered by insurance and certainly not by

Many experts on aging indicate that proper nutrition and regular exercise, especially strength training, will yield equal or better results in building muscle mass and increasing well-being among older patients without the pitfalls of GH and without the exorbitant expense of GH.

Bottom Line: Your doctor can explain more about how GH works in your body and whether it’s something your body needs more of. If you have specific concerns about aging, such as gaining weight, your doctor can suggest ways to improve your health safely. Taking simple steps, such as eating a balanced diet full of fruits and vegetables and exercising daily, can help keep your body in shape and help you feel better about yourself as you age.

Don’t Let Anti-Depressants Put Your Sex Life To Bed

May 24, 2010

Today depression can be successfully treated with medication.  Unfortunately, sexual dysfunction is a common side effect of nearly all classes of anti-depressant medications. The side effects include decreased libido, inability to orgasm, decreased sensation in the genitals, vaginal dryness (in women), and erectile dysfunction (in men).

There are other causes of loss of libido, which includes hormone deficiency in both men and women and can easily be diagnosed with a blood test for testosterone and if the level is diminished, replacement therapy can easily be accomplished with injections and gels in men and with medication and gels in women.

If anti-depressants are the likely cause, there are several possible options. There are some anti-depressants that are less likely to cause loss of libido.  Wellbutrin is one of those medications that is associated with less sexual side effects than other anti-depressants.

The drugs used to treat erectile dysfunction, Viagra, Levitra, and Cialis have been effective in resolving the side effects of anti-depressant medication in both men and women.

For those who are on anti-depressant medication, consult with your doctor and tell him\her about the sexual side effects and the doctor may be able to decrease the dosage of the anti-depressant medication that causes the sexual side effect yet provide adequate medication to control the depression.

Another option is to ask your doctor about changing the time of day that you take your medication.  For example, if you plan to have sexual intimacy in the evening, then take your anti-depressant medication before you go sleep.  Thus the blood level of the anti-depressant will be lowest the next evening at the time you engage in sexual intimacy.

You can also ask your doctor if you can divide your anti-depressant medication and take it twice a day rather than one large dose which will elevate the blood level of the anti-depressant more than using smaller doses several times a day.

Finally, consider a drug holiday.   This involves taking a short break from your anti-depressant medication. There are reports that a two-day break from antidepressant therapy can lower the rate of sexual side effects during the break without increasing the risk of a recurrence of depressive symptoms. This approach, the weekend holiday, works with quick-clearing drugs, such as Zoloft and Paxil. One potential risk with taking a drug break from antidepressants that have very short half-lives, such as Zoloft and Paxil, is the recurrence of symptoms of depression.

Bottom Line:  Sexual side effects are commonly associated with the use of anti-depressant medications.  However, if you speak to your physician, alternatives may be found that will put your sex life back on track.

Dr. Neil Baum is a physician in New Orleans.  He can be reached at (504) 891-8454 or on his website, http://www.neilbaum.com

Guidelines for Prostate Cancer Screening

May 24, 2010

Men should discuss the benefits and risks of prostate cancer screening with their doctors, according to revised prostate cancer screening guidelines from the American Cancer Society (ACS). While this isn’t a radical change from the previous recommendations, the new guidelines offer clearer guidance on what should be discussed.

Difficulty determining who should be treated

Early prostate cancer is typically found using a PSA test and a DRE. Some prostate cancers grow slowly and may never cause a man any problems, while others are more aggressive and may spread to bones or other organs causing pain, discomfort, and even death.  Treatments for prostate cancer can have a lot of unpleasant side effects like incontinence and impotence that can really affect the quality of a man’s life.

Unfortunately, doctors can’t be sure which men need treatment and which would be fine without any therapy.

What the revised guidelines say

Because of these complex issues, the American Cancer Society recommends that doctors more heavily involve patients in the decision of whether to get screened for prostate cancer. To that end, ACS’s revised guidelines recommend that men use decision-making tools to help them make an informed choice about testing.

ACS recommends that men with no symptoms of prostate cancer who are in relatively good health and can expect to live at least 10 more years have the opportunity to make an informed decision with their doctor about screening after learning about the uncertainties, risks, and potential benefits associated with prostate cancer screening. These talks should start at age 50. Men with no symptoms who are not expected to live more than 10 years (because of age or poor health) should not be offered prostate cancer screening. For them, the risks likely outweigh the benefits, researchers have concluded.

As in earlier guidelines, ACS recommends men at high risk – African-American men and men who have a father, brother, or son diagnosed with prostate cancer before age 65 – begin those conversations earlier, at age 45. Men at higher risk – those with multiple family members affected by the disease before age 65 – should start even earlier, at age 40.

For men who are unable to make a decision about screening after these conversations, ACS recommends the doctor make the call based on his or her knowledge of the patient’s health preferences and values.

For men who choose to be screened after discussing the pros and cons with their doctor, the new guidelines make the digital rectal exam (DRE) optional and offer the option of extending the time between screening for men with low PSA levels.  For example, for men less than 60 years of age who have a PSA less than 1.0ng\ml, they probably can get tested every 18 months to 24 months instead of every year.

Bottom Line: Prostate cancer is a common condition affecting nearly 225,000 men each year and causes 26,000 deaths each year.  Men should have a discussion with doctor about the benefits of PSA testing and then make the decision with all of the information to make an informed decision.

For more information contact the American Cancer Society (http://www.cancer.org/docroot/NWS/content/

NWS_1_1x_Prostate_Cancer_Screening_Weigh_Risks_Benefits_With_Your_Doctor.asp)

Prostate Cancer-The Least You Need To Know

May 24, 2010

Prostate cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in American men (excluding skin cancers). Each day approximately 500 American men are diagnosed with prostate cancer.  There are over 26,000 men who die each year from prostate cancer making it the second most common cause of death.  The diagnosis is often made as the result of a blood test known as the prostate specific antigen (PSA) test, followed by a prostate gland biopsy.

Treatment options for prostate cancer include radiation, surgical removal, and watchful waiting or following the man with regular PSA tests and a digital rectal examination.  While a man’s initial reaction to a diagnosis of prostate cancer may be “I just want it out,” the reality is that a number of factors need to be considered before treatment options are selected. These factors include age, general health, and the results of other tests like the Gleason score, which is derived from prostate biopsy.

Most prostate cancers develop in older men and grow very slowly, but some grow quickly and spread beyond the gland. It is sometimes difficult to distinguish men who will benefit from treatment from others in whom the side effects of treatment will outweigh the benefits.

Many prostate cancers will grow so slowly that the man will probably die of another cause before the prostate cancer becomes threatening. Similarly, some prostate cancers at diagnosis have already spread beyond the prostate gland, and surgery or radiation would offer no benefits.

Patients with prostate cancer confined to the prostate gland might derive the most good from surgery or radiation.  You can obtain more information from  American Cancer Society (http://www.cancer.org/docroot/home/index.asp) or speak with your doctor.

When Viagra, Cialis, Levitra, Don’t Work

May 24, 2010

Erectile dysfunction (ED) is a serious disorder that affects millions of men – as many as 30 million Americans.  With the aging of the US population, ED will become even more prevalent.  Erectile dysfunction can profoundly impact quality of life and, with the aging trends of the United States population, will become an increasingly important public health problem The likelihood of developing ED increases significantly with age, but this is not an old man’s disease as it also affects younger and middle aged men as well.

And, among those who do seek treatment and receive Viagra, one in three men do not have a satisfactory response. These are cases of drug-resistant erectile dysfunction, or DRED.  Some men find using the drug every time they want to have sexual relations inconvenient, or they don’t like the occasional headaches and other side effects.  What’s worse is when a man tries the drug, it doesn’t work, and he becomes depressed and it affects his marriage and other relationships.  That’s the bad news.  The good news is that there is a cure for ED, including drug-resistant ED, which works for nearly all men who suffer from the tragedy of the bedroom.

Success of the various treatments varies widely. Although the manufacturer of Viagra claims that it is effective in 82% of cases, studies have documented a high percentage of men who do not respond to the drug. Response seems to be somewhat linked to the underlying cause of ED. For example, men with diabetes are less likely to have a positive response than those with high blood pressure.

This leaves a significant population who require other more invasive options for the treatment of ED.  Another group for whom alternative therapies should be considered are those men who are taking nitrates for their angina. For these 6 million men, Viagra, Levitra, and Cialis are strictly contraindicated, since the nitroglycerin and the ED drugs can cause a severe drop in blood pressure.

Other treatment options include pellets of prostaglandin inserted into the urethra, injections of prostaglandin through a tiny needle into the penis, the use of an external vacuum device, and the surgical insertion of a penile prosthesis.

Bottom Line:  ED is a common condition and nearly everyone can be helped.  No one needs to suffer the tragedy of the bedroom.

OH MY GOSH!!!!!!!! (once again!)

May 14, 2010

I opened the paper

And who do I see?

None other than

The King of Pee.

Peas and Pizza–

Just about the best

And the SI* swimsuit edition

Would put the patient

UP for the test!

As he entertains himself

With SI (and his new plot in life)

He will have to give thought

Of how to appease his wife.

Oh Doctor Whiz

You`ve done it again:

Microwaves and vasectomies

Show you`re the KING PIN!!!!!

*Sports Illustrated

Contributed by the Wiz’s dear friend  Eugenia Lind

The Hematospermia Song

May 12, 2010

(Tune: Turkey in the Straw, Do Your Ears Hang Low, etc.)

Does your semen run red?

Leave a,stain upon your bed?

Is your sperm full of blood Like a giant crimson flood?

Is it messin’ with your head,

Make you think you’ll soon be dead?

Does your semen run red?

Lyrics 2010 by Andrew Downs-Posted With Andrew’s Permission